MarySmith’sPlace – AfghanistanAdventures#52 legends, dragons & Genghis Khan

Mary Smith shares another episode of living and working in Afghanistan for ten years. It is 1989 and on the long drive to Pakistan a stopover at Bamiyan offers an opportunity to learn more about the history of the region from its dragon legends, Genghis Khan and the environmental impact of the Russian occupation… as always a riveting read and well worth heading over to do so.

Mary Smith's Place

Bamiyan, Afghanistan, December 1989

Once on the main road, Jon tilted the passenger seat and dozed until I woke him to inform him I’d achieved fourth gear on the reasonably smooth road and the giddy-making speed of forty miles per hour.

We passed the turning to the Valley of the Dragon, named after the dragon-slaying feat of Hazrat Ali. It had been terrorizing the citizens of the area, wreaking havoc and devouring everything until the king made a deal with him. Providing the dragon was given sufficient sustenance each day, including, amongst other fodder, two camels and a virgin, he wouldn’t bother anyone.

Valley of the Dragon, near Bamiyan. Pic from Wikipedia

Understandably, many families were still upset by the way their daughters kept disappearing. Given the task of destroying the dragon, Hazrat Ali, split it in two with his sword, Zulfiqar, leaving its dead body blocking the entrance to…

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